Our road trip continued with time in Western Massachusetts. Rick's main purpose of the trip may have been to sell his wares at a trade show. Mine was to not only help him but especially to spend time with Elaine and Randy. Randy is "the middle brother" in Rick's clan and the best part of our time on the road is being with them. This time, it was extra special because they hosted a small dinner where we could meet some of their friends (who, not surprisingly, were just as fun as they are!).
The theme of the dinner was New Zealand food, as that's their "heart place," and the site of their recent travels. We had amazing kebabs (not kebobs)...
...and tornado potatoes with a wonderful Gruyere topping!
I told Elaine that it had to take her hours to prep up all the veggies for the kebabs -- tomatoes, onion, pumpkin, squash -- and wrap them with bacon. Oh, yes it did, but WOW!
For dessert we did something called the Tim Tam Slam. Tim Tams are little chocolate cookies.
You bite off opposing corners, dip them in your hot liquid and slurp it up through the cookie quickly!
Randy's concoction was coffee ice cream with kahlua and vodka. You couldn't drink a lot of it but on a bitter cold night it was a perfect way to end the dinner!
Of course I had to bring a bit of Michigan with me! If I'd known it was more than the four of us, I would have brought a bigger pie! But with the Tim Tams, just perfect!
The next day Rick and Randy went on a hike. Meanwhile, I couldn't resist taking a few photos of the many birds that flock to their feeders.
I put the zoom to the test with this chickadee!
And I am wild about cardinals, anytime, any place. I missed the shot with five or six of them, but this one posed!
After the guys returned, Rick and I went to the Norman Rockwell museum where there was also a Hanna and Barbera exhibit. (More on that later!) We explored the town of Stockbridge, NY and returned home for a family dinner and time with Pickles and Daisy.
Pickles and Daisy are cats. Pickles is one of the coolest cats of all time, right up there with the Marmelade Gypsy and Lizzie. He's a senior but still unbearably sweet.
Daisy is the fluffier version of sleek Pickles and she, too, is a love.
But they don't often photograph together!
Look like twins, don't they? Both great cats!
We were out early the next morning, the impending blizzard motivating us to get home before the east was snowed in. Randy and Elaine's pond was definitely looking cold!
Past the Shaker Village...
...and on the road. Where we were continually warned about the weather.
Home now, safe and sound and no blizzard to shovel. If we hadn't left when we did, I think we'd still be there! Lizzie was glad to see us and it's time to do laundry. But oh, what fun! Thanks, Randy, Elaine and and all who made our trip terrific!
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